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Proposed Labour Mobility Act to make it easier for skilled professionals to come to Alberta


October 26, 2021
By Ground Water Canada

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Edmonton – Canadians with professional credentials who are looking to move to Alberta may soon find it easier to do so if the province’s proposed Labour Mobility Act passes.

If passed, Bill 49, the Labour Mobility Act will make it faster and easier for Canadians seeking to move to Alberta to have their professional credentials recognized so they can start a new job or open a new business.

The act will apply to more than 100 regulated occupations in Alberta, such as optometrists, engineers, dentists, accountants, and skilled trades, including “legitimate objective” occupations such as water well drillers, paramedics and nurse practitioners. It is a further step in Alberta’s leadership in eliminating barriers to interprovincial trade and mobility.

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“The Labour Mobility Act will help make Alberta a magnet for skilled professionals by making it easier for them to come to our province and have their credentials recognized,” said Premier Jason Kenney.

According to a 2020 C.D. Howe Institute report, improving labour mobility could add approximately $2.8 billion per year to Alberta’s GDP. Internal barriers to free trade within Canada are also estimated to cost the economy as much as $130 billion per year, with barriers to labour mobility between provinces being one of the costliest restrictions.

“Now more than ever, we need to remove barriers that prevent the free flow of Canadian talent from bringing their skills and their businesses to Alberta,” said Tyler Shandro, minister of labour and immigration.

“One of the biggest challenges facing Alberta businesses is attraction and retention of workers – including skilled workers and trades,” said David MacLean, vice-president of the Alberta and Saskatchewan Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters. “Economic growth and diversification hinges on the ability of employers to acquire the people they need, when they need them.”

The proposed Labour Mobility Act would require that Alberta regulators register qualified Canadians who meet all the criteria established in the regulation, introduce maximum time frames for registration decisions
requiring appeal processes and processes for internally reviewing applications, determine what information/documentation types or quantities regulatory authorities can request, define offences and financial penalties for contravening the act and require documentation and fees be available on a publicly accessible website.

Read Bill 49, the Labour Mobility Act.